In view of the Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case, the Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive case.
Thousands of people have joined protests, carrying placards and forming human chains in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, and across Kerala, demanding justice for the girl. Two state BJP ministers - who had participated in a rally in support of the accused- have resigned from the Mehbooba Mufti government.
The child was kidnapped on January 10. Over the next week, she was drugged, starved, repeatedly gangraped and then murdered.
"We are apprehensive that the trial will not happen peacefully, seeing the condition in Jammu... Seeing that lawyers opposed it in Kathua and did not let the chargesheet proceed," a lawyer of the family said. "We request the Supreme Court to transfer this case to some other state," the lawyer added.
Next hearing will take place on April 28.
Court directed that chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused, we are ready for narco tests. Next date of hearing is April 28: Ankur Sharma, Counsel for accused
The Defence lawyer says his client has not been provided copy of chargesheet. "I am representing the Head Constable, booked for destruction of evidence. As per my information, my clients haven't been provided the copy of the chargesheet," he said.
The child, belonging to a nomadic community, was kidnapped on January 10. Over the next week, she was drugged, starved, repeatedly gangraped and then murdered. It has been alleged that the crime was committed to warn off the Muslim nomadic community away from the areas belonging to Hindus.
A group of 49 retired civil servants wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, holding him responsible for what they called a "terrifying state of affairs".
Kathua rape victim's lawyer said she fears for her life as she may get raped or murdered.
The rape and murder outraged the country after details were exposed in a police chargesheet. Demonstrations were held in several cities across India, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Goa and Bhopal on Sunday as public outrage over a spate of rape and murder of children spiral.
The 8-year-old girl belonged to a nomadic Muslim community.